Thursday, October 16, 2008

More eBay Changes Part XVIII

EBay had stated that the new changes would take effect in November, and I predicted that eBay would implement the changes before that time. EBay has now given October 20 as the start date for some of the new policies.

1) EBay is switching to the new product page. Sellers already need to enter their return policies as required by eBay, but it is even more important with the implementation of the new product page. The new page has a special section for the return policy.

2) All sellers must offer PayPal. I have seen several holdouts who state in their listings that they do not accept PayPal, but after October 20, they must accept PayPal. As of October 20, sellers cannot mention acceptance of either checks or money orders in their listings. I have already stated that sellers need to remove those references. Now is your last chance! I'm sure many listings will be pulled down after October 20 due to sellers mentioning checks and money orders. If a seller's listing is removed due to a policy violation, eBay will consider that seller to be failing in policy compliance, thus causing the seller to have lowered search exposure. EBay does not give second chances these days. One strike, and you're out!

I am not sure whether the blocking of sellers who have a DSR of 4.3 has been rolled out yet, but if not, it certainly will be with this next batch of changes. I have already read reports of some sellers losing their selling privileges due to a DSR of 4.3.

I see one good change. When sellers offer free shipping, EBay will begin reminding buyers that their sellers offered free shipping when they leave the DSR ratings. This is an improvement, but I feel that any seller who offers free shipping should receive an automatic five. Shipping cannot be any more reasonable than when it is free.

On the flip side, eBay tests out their ill-conceived ideas on its international sites, so those of us in the U.S. get a sneak peak at the next disaster. is forcing all DVD sellers to offer free shipping. I'm sure this means that DVD sellers will be forced to offer free shipping within the next few months. Since DVDs are media and so are books, I'm sure the books category will get sucked into it as well. I hope I'm wrong, but I have no reason to be optimistic.

EBay also has yet another search glitch. One person on eBay's search message board alleges that it is a conspiracy in this message thread. I am skeptical that eBay is so stupid to make most sellers lose money . . . but then maybe they are. I think it is probably just a glitch. EBay has had nearly constant glitches in the searches, and these glitches have been occurring for years.

This latest glitch is causing some items to fail to display when a buyer searches by title and description. The dropped items do display when the buyer searches by title only. This means that buyers who search by title and description are missing some of the items that are up for sale. How does eBay keep messing up the search?


Kathleen said...

Why single out DVD's?

I read that some European country refused to accept the Paypal only option. I wish I had the details. Ebay backed down.

The free shipping rating is SO obvious, that Ebay is sure to screw it up!

I have been adding letters of explanation of the rating systems to customers with the books I sent out.

I enjoy most of my customers and I think they are entitled to make INFORMED decisions. And not be deceived by yet another ploy to add more money into Ebay's bottomlessly greedy pockets!

There never really was much animosity between buyers and sellers of which I am both.

Ebay created it as a smokescreen as they snuck in higher prices and profit precentages. I will be happy to share the letter I wrote with anyone so inclined to be interested.


Jennifer White said...

I think the reasoning behind forcing DVDs to have free shipping is that DVDs (except boxed sets) are all the same size and shape and all ship for the same price. Also, many DVD sellers have been known for charging $5-10 for shipping when DVDs can be shipped via first class mail for just a few dollars. I guess eBay thinks that the people who overcharge for postage on DVDs are their biggest problem.

I don't know why eBay cannot understand that most buyers are perfectly capable of deciding for themselves whether shipping is too high. They are listening solely to the few buyers who purchase something without reading the description and then go around kicking and screaming that the seller charged too much.